Without First Nations’ consent mining critical minerals is cultural genocide, leader tells Ontario, Canada – by Shari Narine (Windspeaker – April 26, 2023)


Ten Treaty 9 First Nations in Ontario have delivered a message to the federal and provincial governments and industry: Without practicing co-jurisdiction there will be no more resource development in their traditional territories.

“We have a right to be at the helm with the Crown because you’re affecting our way of life, our way of being. I dare say, we are protecting our culture, so any development without our consent is cultural genocide and you need to recognize that,” said an impassioned Ramona Sutherland, chief of Constance Lake First Nation in an address to Canadians.

Sutherland was joined by chiefs and representatives from the other nations this morning to announce they were beginning legal action against Canada and Ontario and will challenge the version of Treaty 9 used by the Crown to make unilateral decisions that impact the way of life of First Nations.

The draft Statement of Claim outlines that Treaty 9 never included “the ceding, releasing, surrendering or yielding up of Jurisdiction, but rather sharing of Jurisdiction… resulting in co-Jurisdiction, the nature, structure and process of which are to be negotiated in accordance with Canada’s and Ontario’s duties to negotiate in good faith.”

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